Christmas Season

​DECEMBER 27…I sit here watching a neighbor disassembling his Christmas lawn decorations…Santa, Reindeer, Snowman, Nativity Set. I realize Christmas Day is past, but only by two days!

When is Christmas over for you? The day after, two days after, New Year’s Day, twelve days after? The excitement of Christmas builds to a climax on the morning of December 25, and then it stops, abruptly. Christmas is over, the New Year begins, and people go back to their normal lives.

Why is Christmas “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? It is a most beautiful time of the year with lights glistening, maybe on new fallen snow and with a full moon for a backdrop. Most hearts seem lighter during the season except for those in despair and in need of prayer. Shouldn’t we be rejoicing in the Lord every day of the year? “Rejoice evermore; Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing”; and see Psalm 100. For those whose elation comes only with lights and libations, the saddest day of the year is December 26, because it’s all over and the depression soon sets in. Then…”In the dead of night we now strain for the chink of light that comes from a Bethlehem cave.”** 

What does the Christmas season mean to you? Do you remember ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’? What’s the message you get from that story? How would you explain Christmas to your future grandchildren? Is it about gifts or the Giver of gifts? “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is about the birth of our Saviour and love, even of a scraggly tree! 

Christmas is not a day, it’s a season…the season of our lives. “To everything there is a season…” 

May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bring light to a world of darkness and hope to a world of despair. May you and yours have a “Merry Christmas” all year long! 

~May Lyn – December 27, 2016

**Ronald Knox

A Sweet Surprise 

​”A Sweet Surprise”

I was browsing the DVDs at Walmart when I felt someone grab around my waist and hug. I looked down and here was this precious little boy holding on with his head rested on my back! I looked around behind me and saw two other children and I suppose, their mother. She saw my surprised expression and said, “I guess he thought you needed a hug!” I said, “Yes, and Thank You” to the dear heart and wished him a Merry Christmas. What a joy to have this delightful surprise the day after Black Friday!

What do you think caused this child to react as he did?  PMCBurkey 11/2016

Fearsome Food For Thought

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Dickens’ A Christmas Carol) has beneath his robe, two children: a boy named Ignorance and a girl named Want. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows to Scrooge the effects of deeds and thoughts toward mankind.

The following Coleridge poem, Phantom, might also be the deciding factor of how Scrooge conducts his future self. What would Scrooge’s self-portrait look like before and after his ghostly experiences?

PHANTOM
All look and likeness caught from earth
All accident of kin and birth,
Had pass’d away. There was no trace
Of aught on that illumined face,
Uprais’d beneath the rifted stone
But of one spirit all her own;–
She, she herself, and only she,
Shone through her body visibly.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Reflect:
What would we look like if what we did and what we thought created our appearance, and not the looks of our parents or any physical accidents?  What would be the pictures of our inmost selves?

For Further Reading: (reference – synonyms)
Long ago, ghost meant simply the spirit (or soul) in a living person. Gradually it came to mean the spirit without the body.  So now ghost is the wandering spirit of a dead person. An apparition simply appears before people and is seen. A spector carries a special feeling of evil or danger. A phantom could be a mere trick of the imagination.

Read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, and decide which synonym could be properly used to describe the headless horseman that pursued Ichabod Crane.  Which one would Ichabod, himself, be most likely to use?

“Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.” ~George Eliot

PMCBurkey 

What Can I Give Him ?

Who gets presents on your birthday?  You do!

Who gets presents on Christ’s birthday (Christmas)?  You do!

What’s wrong with this picture?  How then, can you give to Christ?

Four possible suggestions given in the past have been:

1. The Little Drummer Boy (song): He does what he does best, he plays his best for Christ.

2. My Gift (Christina Rossetti’s poem): She answers the question, “What can I give Him? – I’ll give Him my heart.”

3. Arthur Melanson (radio minister): “You can give to Christ by giving to a Christian ministry.”

4. The Bishop’s Wife (movie): The Bishop asks the question…”What would Christ wish for most?” He suggests…”Loving kindness, warm hearts, a stretched out hand of tolerance…all the shining gifts that make Peace On Earth.”

What would you put into Christ’s stocking this year?

Write down your gift to Christ this year and put it in His stocking. Next year look at what you wrote this year. Did you fulfill your promise?

May you all be blessed!

~PMCBurkey 2005

A kid that gets a Play Station 4, bike, and and iPad probably knows there is no such thing as a chimney sliding Santa anyway. Gift giving kept at a minimum for all would be a more helpful example for those kids who are on the near poverty end.
I know of a family whose Christmas presents were so numerous each year that the parents were in debt most of the next year in order to pay it off. What example does that set?
Just a thought…Who gets presents on your birthday? You do. Who gets presents on Jesus Birthday (Christmas)? You do. Maybe you could hang a stocking each year with a promise of something you would do for Him…Be kinder, be a peacemaker, be a comforter, visit the sick and elderly…maybe there’s a neighbor who lives alone…offer help at a soup kitchen, be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, read your Bible regularly, pray daily. I’m sure you and your family could come up with great gift ideas for Jesus each year. ~PMCBurkey

The Christmas Box

What was the first gift of Christmas?

Have you seen the movie, ‘The Christmas Box’ or read the book by Richard Paul Evans?
Movies sometimes take liberty with the source. The book answers…”The first gift of Christmas was LOVE, a parent’s love. Pure as the first snows of Christmas. For God so LOVED his children that he sent his son, that we might someday return to him.”
The movie version of the answer is…”a CHILD. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only SON…”
I’m sure you would agree that both answers sum it up for those who believe. ~PMCBurkey 2014

October 31

Halloween, October 31, is ten days away and the store holiday supplies are getting sparse. It’s a shame Thanksgiving doesn’t bring in the profits like Halloween. Of course one is God-centered and the other isn’t. So, that explains the retailers’ position.
I, for one, don’t like to see the media speeding holidays upon us months before their time. But again this year The Hallmark Movie Channel, now Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, is starting their Christmas movies on October 31. Well, Christmas being God-centered, I know what I’ll be doing on the last day of October and on into the Christmas season! ~PMCBurkey 2014

The Call

Twas the night before Christmas
When I heard the call…
“Better get moving,
“There’s no time to stall!”
Me in my nighty
And he in his whities
Rose up in a flash,
Headed out in a dash!
The moon was low,
But the lights were aglow,
When out in the street
There were many to greet.
We were caught up in the crowd,
They were peaceful, not loud,
But were moving along
In a worshipful throng.
“Where are we going,
“What are we doing?
“Are we on a search?”
“No, we were going to church!”
I heard in my head…
“All are welcome”, was said.
“There’s no need to knock,
“This door’s never locked.
“Come in, be my guest,
“And I will give you rest.”
On the way home
I composed this poem.
Blessed Christmas to all!
May you hear the call!
~PMCBurkey 2013